A Very Crappy New Year ?
Well yet another New Year is upon us. 2019! Who’d have believed it? Nobody who couldn't add 1 to 2018 that's for sure.
As the last fireworks fall from the skies over London we'll have a mere 350 odd days to forget how much we just over-estimated the capacity of our stomachs and left ourselves debilitated with obesity, gas and indigestion - not to mention the odd hangover. 350 something days to forget that having a family gathering is great in theory but genuinely involves long and sometimes quite anxious waits outside the bathroom while Granny does whatever the hell it is she did in there.
350 odd days to forget the criminally antisocial repercussions of the humble and traditional Brussel sprout. If methane destroys the ozone layer then we’re all facing a period of heightened radiation exposure and urgently need to wear protective suits.. in addition to gas masks!
What a year 2018 was! BRExit seemed to dog the headlines with so much “Deal or No Deal” speculation that I’m genuinely surprised Noel Edmunds wasn’t conscripted to the cabinet. Politicians babbled on about the will of the people – seemingly overlooking that this was actually the will of a mere 52% and that only 4% less were diametrically opposed to the whole fiasco. If a mere 52% can carry such an important decision then maybe that’s something to build on with a National New Year resolution.
Judging by the official figures, close to 53% are probably experimenting with class A drugs. Instead of the government spending millions and risking police injuries maintaining a ridiculous “King Canute” posture in the so-called drugs war then maybe they should bow to the will of the people and legalise the shit?
Seriously! Administer it at reasonable prices from within the Health Service and not only undermine all illicit trade and put all the gangsters out of work but also boost the beleaguered Health Service with much needed billions in extra revenue. So much so in fact that preventive education and withdrawal counseling can also be provided from the profits.
While we’re at it, let’s legalise prostitution. If American prohibition taught us anything it’s that government attempts to ban popular activities at its own cost and humiliation; and at immense profit to the underworld. Prostitution is as old as society itself and yet it’s still not regulated and taxed for the benefit of all. Sex workers face personal risk, police time and effort – and therefore public money – is wasted in futile “clean up” operations that are far more cosmetic than effective. Again I believe the Health Service could co-ordinate regulation and medical support and again the ultimate benefit is to society as a whole.
With affordable, clean drugs and prostitution provided there will be no demand for street trade and not enough profit for gangs to participate let alone fight over the now non-existent market. When addicts can get essential supplies and even more essential support and counseling on tap they won’t need or be able to fund their habit through petty theft. Taking all that into account, it’s quite possible that existing police resources will be sufficient to manage the other crimes and maybe they’ll even have time to once again pursue burglars and car thieves or just maintain a community presence.
As every retailer attempts to grab the last of our savings in the New Year sales (that actually started on Black Friday at the end of November) we all come face-to-face with the demons of our over-indulgence and multi-mega calorie intake over the last week or two. This is absolutely the worst time to try and join a gym or buy home exercise equipment all of which are in seasonal high demand.
We’ve all been trained to think that every dilemma can be solved with no more than an online click or the flash of a credit card. When the extra weight doesn’t magically disappear on the mere presence of an exercise bike or a gym membership many will no doubt seek a refund on the grounds of unsatisfactory results – overlooking the fact that you actually have to put some work in behind the purchase. Give it 3 or 4 weeks and you’ll be able to pick up good-as-new – and sometimes not even unwrapped – home exercise equipment for a song!
So what does 2019 hold in store?
Well, after the annual rush to book spring and summer holidays abroad there’ll no doubt be the usual spate of weather that we like to call winter. Some places will see snow. Which, of course, is guaranteed to fall in the wrong way at the wrong place and thereby defeat all intelligent council planning and road-gritting attempts. This may happen as tradition has it in January or February but we’re already being warned about seasonal delays and a possible white Easter.
The BRExit debates will blunder on in ridiculous party political fashion. Instead of uniting behind “the will of the people” as government – and indeed all elected representatives are supposed to do – they’ll continue to sulk, pout and muck-sling at every opportunity.
Imagine trying to barter for a purchase in a street market whilst your spouse openly niggles and undermines your every negotiating ploy and you’ll have some idea of the deal we’re likely to end up with. I’m no great supporter of Mrs May but she and the rest of those Westminster clowns are there to do a job and it would be great if their New Year resolution would be to finally put the welfare of the BR in BRExit ahead of petty party playacting. That way maybe they’ll satisfy most of the 52% which in reality means that the majority of us all will actually regret the whole fiasco ever started.
Time will roll on and eventually spring rains will give way to autumn squalls. If we’re lucky there’ll be a brief interlude in between that we like to call “summer”. Summer in the UK has 2 dates when you can be virtually certain of driving rain and for easy identification we call those “public holidays”, both in August and squarely in the middle of the dreaded summer school break.
Eventually, after much Valium and no doubt many calls to The Samaritans, September will finally arrive and give desperate parents a few hours daily respite between school runs. With hardly a pause for breath, and finding time on their hands, that’s when the pre-Christmas planning and shopping begins.
Don’t forget the sprouts!